Strawberry, Apple + Almond Breakfast Muffins

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* My only advice for these is serve warm and ENJOY!

Strawberry, Apple + Almond Breakfast Muffins ~ Adapted from the What Katie Ate Cookbook

1 1/4 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon (I used a whole, you can’t ever have enough!)

Large pinch of fine sea salt

2 tsp natural vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into small cubes

6 large strawberries, hulled and quartered

Handful of sliced blanched almonds

1-2 tbsp light brown sugar

Warm water (see below)

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups or rounds of parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together the flour, almond meal, superfine sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the vanilla extract, melted butter, eggs, and 3/4 cup warm water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well, then add the apple cubes and gently stir to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to about three quarters full. Place two strawberry quarters on top of each muffin, then sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Molten Raspberry Dark Chocolate Mug Cake

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Raspberries & dark chocolate = A match made in heaven by the almighty food gods. Is it possible to make this combo any better…? How about hot and bubbly and in the center of your own personal single-serving breakfast mug cake?

I think my AM just got a whole lot sweeter:

Molten. Raspberry. Dark. Chocolate. Mug. Cake.  

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Yes, yes… Cake for breakfast. I feel the morning is the best time of day to partake in a meal with a sweet twist. It gives you something to look forward to at night and jump out of bed for in the morning. The greatest thing about this breakfast cake is that you can throw all the ingredients in own large mug {or bowl}, microwave, and shazam! CAKE. You can get creative with the mix-ins and toppings, the possibilities are endless!

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~ Molten Raspberry Dark Chocolate Mug Cake ~

*1/4 cup flour (I use 1 tbsp ground flax seed, 2 tbsp almond meal, 1 tbsp brown rice flour)

1 egg

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp baking powder

1 heaping tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp maple syrup/honey

spoonful of greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, any flavor)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

large spoonful raspberry preserves

piece of good quality dark chocolate (chips will also work)

* I always alternate my flour on this recipe, many times I use a full 1/4 ground flax, sometimes just almond meal and brown rice flour. I tend to like the combination of all three the best.

In a large coffee mug or bowl mix together all the ingredients, except for the raspberry preserves and the chocolate, until well combined. I like to mix in a little of the raspberry preserves into the batter as well. Place the spoonful of raspberry preserves in the center of the cake batter. You can either stick the chocolate piece (or chips) in the center too, pushing them in a bit, or sprinkle around the top. Place in the microwave and cook for about one minute and thirty-seconds. If you don’t feel it is fully cooked put in for another thirty-seconds. The preserves should have sunken in and be bubbly. Top with multiple drizzles of maple syrup or honey and dig in!!!

~

Coconut Black Sesame Seed Granola

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Spring. Spring. Spring. Spring. Spring.

Sun. Picnics. Granola sprinkled on creamy cold yogurt….

Though in my head I am chanting some sort of spring-song (you know, to supposedly bring on the warm weather) the guy on TV says snow on and off for the next week…My reaction? Bake something that gives off sunshine! This granola is a mix of winter spices like cinnamon and ground ginger but has an island-sweetness from the coconut, a satisfying crunch from the walnuts, and a hint of chocolate from the cocoa powder. And lets not forget about the lovely nuttiness from the black sesame seeds..I have a soft spot for these beauties and tend to sprinkle them on EVERYTHING. Basically this morning treat is a combination of many many things that equal one bright and satisfyingly tasty breakfast. When eaten with yogurt and fruit one has complete permission to pretend not to see the late march snowflakes outside the window.

If you have on hand, add in dried cranberries or any other favorite dried fruits.

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Coconut Black Sesame Seed Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/2 cup raw black sesame seeds, add more if you like them as much as I do

1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

1/2 heaping tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup, or honey

If you want a sweeter granola you can add an additional 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, or molasses

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flakes

desirable add-ins: dried fruits (cranberries) chocolate chips (after granola has cooled)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together until the contents are coated well. Scoop out onto the baking sheet and spread out with a large spoon or your hands. Make sure granola layer is not to thick or it will not bake to a proper crispness. Bake for about an hour stirring every 15-20 minutes. Let cool before transferring to an airtight container.

Eat on its own as a snack, with milk, yogurt, fruit, ice cream…

~ Enjoy! ~

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~

Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

A Star Muffin.

A tasty combination of awesome in one compact muffin. Are you ready?

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This is a time for warmth and comfort. For flavors that and a little heat and zing to your average ho hum day. As January comes to a close Spring begins its slow creep forward from the shadows. Their is a smell of hope in the air..it may be slight..and disappear at times like tonight when the weather drops down below freezing again..but alas it exists. With the combination of cinnamon, pear, lemon and that magical concoction known as speculoos you are sure to jump right out of bed in the morning just to have a bite.

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Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

makes 10 small muffins or 6 large muffins

1 pear, diced (roughly a cup)

1 large egg

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3.5 tbsp coconut oil

2 heaping tbsp speculoos spread

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour/almond flour mix

1/2 cup oats, plus more for topping

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

zest of 1/2 an organic lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix the flax and water and set aside (for 5-10 minutes). In a Large bowl combine the millet, brown rice and almond flours, oats, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, flax egg, vanilla extract, coconut oil (make sure the coconut oil is not solid), light brown sugar, and speculoos spread until fully combined with no lumps. Stir the lemon zest into the wet ingredients last. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, once combined gently stir in the diced pear. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with parchment paper and fill with batter. Sprinkle muffin tops with extra oats before placing in oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. If you decided to make 6 larger muffins they will need more baking time, at least 30-35 minutes.

~ Enjoy, and as always..stay warm ~

Apple Yogurt Upside-Down Cake

A Morning Worthy of Cake. Apple Cake.

apple_cake_1I am back! Shall I do a little dance? I think YES. It has been a busy busy past couple of months, the highlight being a romp through the Scottish highlands and Dublin in December. But it is a new year and I can’t wait to start putting more time in here.

This tasty treat is meant for fall, when the leaves are just starting to turn and the first cool breezes make themselves known…but when you have all the ingredients on hand and the exact number of crisp pink lady apples staring at you from the side of the counter…I say go for it. This is the coldest week I’ve experienced yet in New York (I actually NEED one of those face-sweaters..) and this cake is as delicious in the middle of Winter as it is in Fall. Full of warmth and comfort it is meant to be eaten at any time of day, while sitting on the couch, with thirty quilts, a thick pair of woolen socks and a cup of hot tea.

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Apple Yogurt Upside-Down Cake ~ adapted from Small Plates & Sweet Treats

3 pink lady apple

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp + more honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup brown rice flour + 1 tbsp

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup millet flour + 1 tbsp

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 heaping tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup packed dark muscovado sugar

1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8 by 8-inch square cake pan (or an 8 by 3-inch round cake pan) and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Core the apples, quarter them, then cut each piece in half once more. Heat the coconut oil, 2 tbsp of honey and vanilla extract in a large saute pan (any soup or sauce pot will work, you may just need to cook the apples for a bit longer) over medium heat. Add the sliced apples and cook for about 10 minutes or until apples are soft but not mushy. Let cool for a few minutes before handling. Arrange the apples on the bottom of the cake pan as tightly as possible and pour any remaining liquid in the pot over the apples.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate smaller bowl mix the eggs, dark muscovado sugar, honey (I did about 2 tbsp add more for a sweeter cake), olive oil, and yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan making sure that it is evenly distributed over the apples. Bake for about 50min-1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before carefully flipping. Allow to cool before serving. Keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days or freeze.

Serve warm by itself or with a speckled vanilla bean ice cream.

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~ Stay Warm! ~

Blood Orange Upside-down Cakes with Sage

It is the end of April. And with that comes.. May, a month full of excitement and anticipation of a good summer season. The weather here in NY has warmed up and though it is predicted to drop again on Monday with May around the corner my spirits remain high.

To me blood oranges scream summer. They come out and shout it with their tart, juicy, deep red goodness. Paired with a moist almond cake with just the right crumb and fragrant sage we have a treat fit for any pre-summer celebration. I ate these for breakfast with a large cup of mint tea. They would go great accompanying a picnic or eaten after dinner…preferably on a porch, in a rocking chair and listening to crickets.

Blood Orange Upside-down Cakes with Sage

1 orange

3 tiny blood oranges or 1 large blood orange

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp dark muscavado sugar (this requires a bit of work to keep from clumping together, I love the stronger molasses taste but light or brown sugar would also work)

1 tbsp honey + more for drizzle

2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh orange zest

1 egg

1 tbsp ground flax

1/4 cup millet flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour

2 tbsp + 2 tsp almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp of juice (I used the juice made from segmenting the oranges)

pinch of sea salt

fresh sage leaves

1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Segment the oranges and set aside. In a large bowl mix the flours, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon – set aside. In a separate bowl combine the flax, honey, olive oil, vanilla extract, sugar, zest, and juice. Then stir in the egg and yogurt. Add the wet to the dry and stir to combine. In a muffin pan (grease if necessary) criss-cross leaves of sage in the bottom of nine compartments. Spoon a little of the orange segments on top, then a drizzle honey. Add a spoonful of batter next, I had just enough batter for this so start with a small spoonful in each until it is all used up. Bake for around 30 minutes or until cooked though and golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and carefully use a dull knife to flip them out of the pan. Cool and enjoy. Keep leftovers in the fridge.

In the middle of this Heat Wave…

Waiting and waiting for summer…

and then you live one day in a heat index of 117 degrees. A small part of me was day dreaming of the cute scarves and light jackets of fall, uh oh…So to stay in the cool zone I’ve been taking my spinach smoothies to the next level with an abundance of fresh and chilly fruit 🙂

With as much spinach as I can fit in the blender, lots of cinnamon, ground flax, half a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, peaches, pineapple, and finished off with almond milk and a drop or two of pure vanilla extract. BLENDddddd. to cool creamy nutrient packed goodness!

Stay cool now ~

Summer Morning Oats

I’m back….back with some oats for you on this lovely and HOT summer day.

While I am basking in the glory that is post-graduation I am trying to stay motivated. It is so easy to fall into a routine, which I can not do. So here is a way to jumpstart your day 🙂

Despite the Georgian heat I wanted a hot and hardy cereal – Welcome: Oat Bran

This bag of Oat bran has been sitting in my pantry FOREVER and it was screaming out for attention

In a small pot bring 2 cups water and a good pinch of salt to boil, then turning the burner off, slowly stir in 2/3 cup of oat bran. Leave everything to sit for about 2 minutes. Then [with a rustic wooden spoon if your feeling in the mood, which I was] scoop out half the oat bran mixture into a bowl. Add 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 or 2 tbsp ground flax seed, large dash of cinnamon, and a decent swirl of honey. I proceeded to add a new dried berry mix with golden raisins, cherries, cranberries, and blueberries.

STIR. and ENJOY.

You have two options for what is left in the pot.

1 – prepare a bowl just like yours for a fellow lucky companion…

OR

2 – prepare a bowl just like yours and put in the fridge to have the next morning.

The choice is yours ~ too a happy and productive day

Until Tonight ~

An update on the last few days, one word can probably sum it up:  crazy.  I have so much to de before departing atlanta next week, which means I’m surviving on oats, peanut butter, and trail mix.  Lord help me.

Probably my favorite way to eat muesli:

is with 1 tbsp of chia seeds, with lots of cinnamon, a spoonful of peanut butter, dash of vanilla extract, and a cup of plain soy milk.  Let it sit in fridge over-night.  Pure awesome-ness the next morning.

Finally had a regular green monster.  Simple.  Cold.  Refreshing.  Good.

1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, lots of fresh spinach, frozen b-nana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Blend.

Drink.

Paired with some Udi’s granola and dried fruit [cherries, cranberries, golden raisins, and blueberries][yum]

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad

I am on a tight budget this week as far as meals go.  Hence $2-3 entrees from Trader Joe’s are my savior.  After a long day at work and the lovely trek back to my room [the staircase next to my door won’t open from inside the stair well..GO FIGURE] so I walk all the way around the building.  Extra cardio, though, right?..[disgruntled noise].

Back to dinner, my stocks were rather low.  So I decided it was finally time to use the can of black beans I’ve been staring at all summer.

~ Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~

+ sweet corn [yum]

~ spices ~

My latest department store deal.  I found this bottle of gold at a Marshals…maybe a Ross, definitely a store of a similar nature 😉  It is so good!  and you can spray it on almost anything.

The finished product.  I love the red specs of the cayenne pepper!

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~
1 can of black beans, rinsed & patted dry
1/2 can yellow corn, rinsed & patted dry
1 tbsp or so of honey
sprinkle of cayenne, salt, and cumin.
[I didn’t use exact measurements, so use what your spice levels are comfortable with]
Spray down with garlic grape-seed and sesame oil

Just toss everything together and serve.  Quick.  Affordable.  Easy.  This is a very versatile dish, if I had more ingredients I would have added fresh lime juice and cilantro and served over a bed of lettuce 😉

Afterwards was another Almond Butter Coconut Ball.  I swear these things taste better and better the longer they sit in the freezer.

Yes I am going backwards 😮 , thought I’d start with what was most recently on my mind.  Breakfast today was a quick pomegranate spinach smoothie.

Just some frozen pomegranate kefir, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, and the rest of a bag of spinach.  Blended.  Cold perfection 😀

With an ABC Ball [of course]  possible new addiction? >:)

Trader Joe’s has ceased to please.  Never have I enjoyed a frozen meal as much as the ones at TJ’s.  The freshness and flavor are the same if not better then eating at a restaurant.  Promise.  Today I tried the shrimp green curry on jasmine rice.

It.  Was.  Out.  Of.  This.  World.

Look at this ingredients list!  In my book I don’t want Thai food without all the authentic spices and this dish lived it up in the authentic flavor department.  Thai eggplant and peas, umm AMAZING.

Some more fellow bloggers giveaways!:

http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2010/08/18/popular-vegan-cookbooks/

QUESTION:  What do you do for meals when your on a tight budget?

I tend to resort to the famous PB & J 😉